Noel Weaver wrote:I used Metro-Rail and it worked fine for me yesterday. The cars were clean, the seats decent, the AC working and we had
no problems of any kind in either direction. I do think the line twists and turns more than necessary on the north section
but the south section is pretty straight and goes through a better area as well.
There were plenty of people riding as well in both directions.
The bottom line is that Metrorail was built along a very peculiar route, which cleverly excluded major destinations. In all of the times I've been to Miami, I've never had occasion to use Metrorail (or Tri-Rail, or the laughable Metromover).
I'm glad to hear that the system is maintained, but it was highly, perhaps even fatally, flawed in conception and probably should never have been built, or should have been built on a far more optimal, better focused route, on a more realistic scale. I blame misguided 1970s federal mass transit policies that funded a number of frivolous and wasteful projects and excluded a number of vital projects in well established systems. Miami wasn't the only city to build a "white elephant" with federal funds.
Noel Weaver wrote:It is the only rapid transit system in Florida that is any good and I do not think we should be complaining about it on here
or anywhere else.
I'm not complaining, only addressing the background issues that might have lead to this advertisement, seeking bids for the disposal of all Metrorail rolling stock.
Noel Weaver wrote: Biggest problem as I see it is that we do not have enough of it for this heavily populated area.
The problem is that the population is arranged around highway based transportation, and that the current system, despite its impressive mileage and scale, is something of "white elephant." The issue of extending Metrorail seems to be truly dead, at last, and rightly so. The Orange Line didn't really fix the problems with the system, but added even more.
Noel Weaver wrote:As for the reason for bids on these cars for scrap, I think somebody in the management wants to get an estimate of the
value of this equipment and this is one way to get it. They are not going anywhere, that's for sure.
There isn't any indication of a replacement order, and it is clear that the scrap value of the current 1983 vintage fleet would not substantially defray the cost of new procurement.
Baltimore Metro is the only other user of this equipment, and even that system only uses 54 out of 100 available cars during peak rush hour volumes, so it's clear there's no market for the 136 Metrorail cars, at least not in an operable or even intact condition. I think you can read the notice quite literally when it comes to the phrase "decommissioning and disposal."
I still think the shutdown of Metrorail and scrapping of all rolling stocks seems unlikely, but it is no longer inconceivable, considering the fiscal crisis. Eliminating a costly and embarrassing white elephant of a transit system might be a more palatable political alternative than cuts to education and healthcare.